The question has often been asked me, “If God is a God of love how can He bring judgment on a nation and destroy it?”
The truth is this is not a new question. There were people in the days of the divided kingdom who asked the same question. Some had even come to the conclusion that anyone who talked about God as a judge was not one of His servants.
Micah of Moresheth, a contemporary of Isaiah, said it this way; “But this is what the LORD says: “I will reward your evil with evil; you won’t be able to escape! After I am through with you, none of you will ever again walk proudly in the streets.” Micah 2:3 NLT
But this is what he got in response: “”Don’t say such things,” the people say. “Don’t prophesy like that. Such disasters will never come our way!” Micah 2:6 NLT
Many of the Israelites did not believe that God would bring disaster upon them. After all they were special. They were God’s chosen people. They had rights!
But this is what God told them: “Should you talk that way, O family of Israel? Will the LORD have patience with such behavior? If you would do what is right, you would find my words to be good.” Micah 6:7
You see humans always want to put the blame on God when judgment comes. After all He is God; So if bad things happen to us it must be His fault. But the truth is the harshness of judgment could be avoided if we would simply live right. Judgment is entirely avoidable for the nation which will serve God. The fact that no nation has ever avoided it speaks more about the behavior of men than it does about the behavior of God. Israel and the nations around them brought judgment on themselves and Micah said there were three cultural behaviors that were creating the judgment:
1. idolatry- Both Judah and Israel had become pluralistic societies, nations that legalized and even celebrated the worship of gods besides Jehovah within their borders. I realize that I may be entering the realm of being un-American here but freedom of religion is not a basic human right given by God. There is no freedom to worship Buddha or Allah in Heaven. When the Israelites tried to allow worship of other deities in their country on Earth God destroyed their government because of it. That’s Bible not JE.
“Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! The Sovereign LORD has made accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple. Look! The LORD is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and comes to earth, walking on the high places. They melt beneath his feet and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire, like water pouring down a hill. And why is this happening? Because of the sins and rebellion of Israel and Judah. Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion? Samaria, its capital city! Where is the center of idolatry in Judah? In Jerusalem, its capital! “So I, the LORD, will make the city of Samaria a heap of rubble. Her streets will be plowed up for planting vineyards. I will roll the stones of her walls down into the valley below, exposing all her foundations. All her carved images will be smashed to pieces. All her sacred treasures will be burned up. These things were bought with the money earned by her prostitution, and they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere.”
2. Injustice against the poor.
The rich were making a killing in the housing market and putting people out of their homes in record numbers.
“How terrible it will be for you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry out any of the wicked schemes you have power to accomplish. When you want a certain piece of land, you find a way to seize it. When you want someone’s house, you take it by fraud and violence. No one’s family or inheritance is safe with you around!” Micah 2:1,2
3. Political corruption was rampant
“Listen, you leaders of Israel! You are supposed to know right from wrong, but you are the very ones who hate good and love evil. You skin my people alive and tear the flesh off their bones.” Micah 3:1,2 NLT
“This is what the LORD says to you false prophets: “You are leading my people astray! You promise peace for those who give you food, but you declare war on anyone who refuses to pay you.” Micah 3:5 NLT
“Listen to me, you leaders of Israel! You hate justice and twist all that is right. You are building Jerusalem on a foundation of murder and corruption. You rulers govern for the bribes you can get; you priests teach God’s laws only for a price; you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid. Yet all of you claim you are depending on the LORD. “No harm can come to us,” you say, “for the LORD is here among us.” Micah 3:9-11
Israel, Judah, and America three nations very alike in their sin very alike in their assertions that God would not bring disaster upon them. We know how it ended for both Israel and Judah. What do we believe about America?